Did You Steal My Pictures?

A photographer, either a serious one or an easy-going one*raises hand sometimes has this fear that their pictures might get stolen byother people with whatever purposes. That is why we tend to put watermark (WM)at our pictures thinking that it might lower the risk, but seriously… peopleare smarter and WM can be erased with photoshop in seconds.

Recently, I have a small convo with a famous photographer inIndonesia named Arbain Rambey via twitter. He is a senior photographer who hashis own TV program (about photography) and his own websites that displays hisphotos, which are surprisingly uploaded without any watermark.

Out of curiosity I mentioned him on twitter. I asked whydidn’t he put WM at his pictures. His first answer really knocked me out..sorta~ He said, “if people steal my photos, how much money did I lose? Ifpeople do not steal my photos, how much money will I gain?” I cannot help notto agree more and it is from someone whose photos are famous and widely usedfor commercials in Indonesia, etc. I look back at my photos and think… are myphotos even worth stealing? I honestly never caught someone used my photos foranything… not even a facebook/twitter display picture, until yesterday.

My point is that it is the photographer’s right to put WM attheir pictures for whatever purpose (sometimes it’s for identity purpose) butit would be better for photographers to have this liberating mind that a stolenphotos do not only mean your work of art is being taken away from you, but italso means your photos are considered beautiful, artsy, and moreover WORTHSTEALING!! Hahaha… If you can sue that person, then sue him/her, humiliatehim/her via SNS, TV breaking news, newspapers and make yourself famous. By thetime you can do it, you can be sure that your pictures are really worthstealing. Congratulation! ^^

For a photography noob like me… I think a stolen pic used asa SNS display picture would be a good start, right? Hahaha!! I took this photo on 2011, and posted it on a mini homepage of the person in the picture as a supportingmessage while he was injured and couldn’t join games for months. You can laugh/snort/chuckle on my picture because it is surely not a high quality fancy fancy picture, I won’t even mind. The thing is, the old me would be really upset knowing my picture is being used without permission. The ‘now’ me would justrelax and enjoy the fact that there is someone out there taking out my picturefrom my favorite baseball player’s homepage and putting it on her web as a displaypicture. It’s an honour, really~ LOL

This can apply to handmade drawings, edits, anything. Inthis era of internet we can never prevent things like this to happen, but wecan change our mindset. Are you ready to liberate your mind? Don’t stop the clicksof your shutter buttons just because someone steals your pictures. Be honored, instead ^^


Inspired by:
Arbain Rambey twitter here 
Arbain Rambey's Chirped Tweets here -- tweets about picture stealings written by Arbain Rambey (in Indonesianlanguage only)
Even a Huge TV Station Can Steal Pictures and ERASE THE CREDIT here

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